Premier League

Alves: Barca should bag Wilshere

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Tue, 19 Feb 2013 09:58:00

Charlton striker Bradley Wright-Phillips has joined Brentford on loan until the end of the season.

The 27-year-old forward has been a prolific scorer at League One level in the past but has struggled mightily in the Championship this season, scoring just one goal in 21 outings.

Wright-Phillips was named in the League One team of the season in 2010-11 after scoring 21 times for Plymouth Argyle and Charlton, and he scored 22 more for the Addicks last season in their promotion campaign.

Brentford's sporting director Mark Warburton said: "As we approach the business end of the season, it is very important to keep everything fresh.

"Bradley is a proven goal scorer in this division and is a player we have been looking at for a long time.

"He is a player that was chased by teams in the Championship and some of our rivals for promotion this season, so we are delighted we could secure him.

"We are very pleased to bring him to Griffin Park and hopefully he can help us achieve our aims and ambitions for the season.

"He had an outstanding season in League One last season and hopefully he can continue that form this time around."

Town head to Tranmere under the care of Fabrizio Piccareta, knowing a win would put them top of League One, a fact which makes the off-the-field happenings at the County Ground all the more unbelievable.

Di Canio has walked away owing to the takeover of the club by a consortium not being ratified by a deadline he had imposed of 5pm on Monday, with the Italian no longer able to handle the uncertainty he felt was undermining their season.

He announced his departure in a statement released by his agent, with Swindon's current board responding to it late on Monday night.

The club statement read: "The board are disappointed that Paolo Di Canio has made the decision to resign at such a critical time for Swindon Town Football Club.

"We are also disappointed that the sale of the club has yet to be approved, but we hope the outstanding issues with the Football League will be resolved within a short period of time.

"It is worth noting that Matt Ritchie was sold due to the tremendous financial pressure the club is facing and in order to continue operating whilst the sale of the club went through.

"We understand the prospective new owners had reached agreement with Paolo Di Canio on bringing in loan players to strengthen the squad for a final push for the Championship.

"Until the situation has been resolved, Fabrizio Piccareta will be in temporary charge of the team as we travel to Tranmere Rovers, where a win would see Swindon become leaders of League One.

"The board shares the fans' tremendous frustration at the events of the last few weeks and is determined to resolve these issues to ensure the best outcome for the club."

Alves has been impressed by the 21-year-old midfielder and is keen for him to join Cesc Fabregas and Alex Song in leaving the Emirates Stadium for the Catalan club.

"He is a great player who we have met playing against Arsenal and without doubt he can reach the height of the players we have here at Barcelona like Xavi and [Andres] Iniesta," said Alves, quoted in the Daily Telegraph.

"He has a lot of quality and a great personality. If I was given the chance to choose, he is a player that I would sign for Barcelona."

Alves lined up against Wilshere at Wembley in an international friendly earlier this month, with England emerging as 2-1 winners, but the right-back does not feel the defeat was too significant.

"England are a historic team which is not going through its finest period," Alves added. "But coming up against a rival like this is always difficult.

"Excuses are not valid in this sport but we had players from Brazil who haven't played much at all. Because of these circumstances, I think we did a good job. There were good and bad things."

Alves was speaking ahead of Barcelona's UEFA Champions League tie against AC Milan on Wednesday and the 29-year-old is expecting a tough game.

"They will be difficult opponents because of the tradition that they have in the competition," he said. "You have to show them respect.

"Milan is not experiencing its greatest period but these will be special games. We can't think about what Milan is going through, we just have to play our football and work hard because we know they are going to be tough games."

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